The SAD, SAD state of the Real Estate Market

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lazarus Realty


Lazarus Realty



1319 W Bullard #4 -- Fresno CA -- 93711

I lament being in an industry where agents find themselves so desperate they prostitute themselves before asset managers and others for NEXT TO NOTHING for the their services.  I used to get emails requesting BPOs and would review the information being requested and concluded that the Real Estate Agent or Broker is essentially providing all the information a appraiser would provide with the only difference being that the compensation offered is 1/10 th of the amount an appraiser earns.  YOU HEARD IT RIGHT: $40.00!

The true pity of it is I notice that these assigments are scooped up within MINUTES of being emailed.

To be fair, not all offers are that low. Some are offering in the $50 to $100.00 range.

Almost ALL the services that request BPOs will have you waiting 30 to 60 days for your check whereas  appraisers often receives them ON THE SPOT.

I just had a request emailed to me for a BPO and the offer is $50.00 but if you read the 4 pages of requirements you would conclude essentially what I state above: the Realtor© is performing essentially ALL the tasks of the appraiser.  This BPO order spedifies that if MLS pics are not available for comps that you provide -- that you must also TAKE PICTURES OF THE COMPS.  I estimate the working time on this BPO at no less than 2 hours and probably closer to 3 or 4 hours.  Why not just get a job at McDonalds and move up the ranks because they really are a good company and it wouldnt take long before you're making more money there than in this business doing BPOs.

I have to tell the story of a BPO request I responded to.  The offer of compensation seemed reasonable to me: $125.00. I took the pics and then entered in the info on the requesters page.  It did take me longer than I thought it  would and I probably spent 3 hours entering all the info.  I'm not sure if I am slow but I suspect even those that do this all the time would take 2 hours.  Anyway, when I was just about done, except for final comments, and went to take a break, I hit the save button and their system LOST EVERYTHING I HAD INPUTTED!

I emailed the company told them the problem asked them to remove me from their list and NEVER CONTACT ME AGAIN.  They replied with an apology and said they worked on the system until 4:00 am to fix it.  Not enough to win me back. 

Well, I would be happy to hear the thoughts of agents who do BPOs.  I dont want to demean your source of income but I cant see how this can be profitable unless you're entirely devoted to this area of work and doing it on a full time basisi - in which case I would think it would be wiser to become and appraiser and do  1/10 th the work for the same amount of money.







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Bill C. Merrell
Merrell Institute ~ Appraisal Education Network - Bohemia, NY
Ph.D. - Merrell Institue

Hopefully the market will turn around. I sound like a broken record. They have been saying it will be getting better for 8 months now. I haven't seen the rebound yet...

Thanks for the great blog.

Keep on blogging and have a wonderful day.

All the best.


Aug 27, 2008 05:47 AM #1
Richmond Virginia
Richmond, VA

Man...I too have been burned by "not reading the full details" of a BPO before fault.  And I have lost time by a system failure when entering data,,,their fault.  As far as taking photos of comps...I just can't justify it....maybe with a higher fee and if the photos are in MLS...maybe.  Thanks for the post!

Havea productive week!

Aug 27, 2008 05:58 AM #2
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

I do them just as fun money when I've got nothing better to do.  if I get one that comes in, for an area I'm near or live near or am in frequently, and it doesn't look too hard (as in, cookie cutter - how hard is that!?), i'll do it just for some fun cash.  But I do agree that for those that are out of the way or just too time consuming to work up, I don't do them.  Like the last one I mistakenly accepted because they called me in a week moment - about 20 minutes away but I like to go to the lake.  But in a county with no subject info readily available so I had to wait 2 days for subject info, then I get out there and there's nothing like it, barely any sales. all in all, not worth the $50 for that one.

But others, it takes a whole 2 hours to do the whole shebang.  I work with emortgagelogic a lot and they pay fairly quickly, within 2 weeks.  I just did one for First American, oh, 3 weeks ago - still no sign of a check.  I dont' do another one for a company until I've been paid.

But for me, just fun money sometimes :) 

Aug 27, 2008 06:06 AM #3
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA


I am a RE professional, have been in various aspects of this industry for 25+ years. If the market is in a downturn, you have got to find a niche that is lucrative. Can we all chase after the short sales offerring 1% commission after 6 months of work and then closing if we are lucky?? Yes, and many do. But one needs to reinvent themselves, not an easy task, and daunting to new agents.

I have found a niche in "higher end" rentals, not for everyone, but I have put my investor background  to good use, finding tenants for many distressed owners. The money is quite good, yet alot of running around, more than I would like. Is this going to last forever? No, but at least I can survive until things change.

My point is, we should not be working for peanuts, and $50 for a BPO is laughable. Down market or not, I still consider myself a professional with knwoledge and experience I expect to be well compensated for.

Aug 27, 2008 06:10 AM #4
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realtors® • Notary Public & Apostille - Sunny Isles, FL
Miami Notary & Apostille 786-229-7999

I've considered doing BPO's, but can easily see where the time and effort is hardly worth the reward. From observation, it seems like agents want the BPO work to get their feet in the door to scoop up the REO business.

Aug 27, 2008 06:11 AM #5
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Randy "Lazarus" McAtee

Owner/Broker, Lazarus Realty, Fresno California
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